Sean Davidson
Multi-platform author, CTV News Toronto

@ SeanDavidson_

Kerrisa Wilson
Web Content Writer, CP24

@ Kerrisawilson

Toronto and Peel Region both recommend extending the current strict lockdown measures for an additional two weeks

Mayor John Tory announced at City Hall on Wednesday afternoon that the recommendation had been made for Toronto to avoid a third wave of COVID-19 in the city

If this were approved by the province, Toronto and the Peel Region would not move into the color-coded framework in February 22 as planned and would end on Aug. March will remain completely closed

“I’ve never been as concerned about the future as I am now,” said Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr Eileen de Villa said Wednesday afternoon

She warned that with the variants of COVID-19 now circulating in the province, new infections could emerge if the city reopened too quickly

“If the number of confirmed cases is large enough to shock us, it will be too late to do anything We’re going to be as bad as anything we’ve been through in a third wave, “warned de Villa

Tory said hopefully keeping Toronto closed for another two weeks will help avoid future lockdowns

“I know the extension of the lockdown will continue to harm many companies,” said Tory. “We absolutely don’t want us to open up even a little and then close in a few weeks. With the promise of vaccinations, we have to make sure that this lock we are currently in, the last one is “

De Villa’s request on Wednesday afternoon came hours after Peel Region Medical Officer of Health Dr Lawrence Loh made a similar question

In the past week, the worrying variants have increased from just five cases to 45 in the peel region. There are currently at least 40 laboratory-confirmed cases of B117 variant that was first created in the UKand five cases of B1351 variant first found in South Africa

In addition, there are over 200 other cases in Peel that tested positive for a worrying variant as of Wednesday.These cases will undergo genomic sequencing to confirm and identify which variant it is

“Can we reassess our expected return to the provincial framework? If we only maintain the status quo for an incubation period of 14 days, we can better see where the variant trends are headed and the impact of a school reopening on contacts and transmission in the country Community check, “Loh said during a press conference in Brampton on Wednesday morning

Loh argues that there is a need to delay the transition of the region into the frame to avoid spikes in cases and further lockdown

“I know it’s not news that people want to hear, but I think if we just wait a few more weeks we can really find out what the picture is to try to get things under control and to make sure the school reopening goes smoothly, ”he said

In a letter to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr David Williams from 13 February, de Villa and Loh, as well as Chairman of the Table of Measures of the Ministry of Health for Public Health, Dr David McKeown said the most important thing the provincial government needs to do is rethink its reopening strategy

“We urge the province to change its current course towards a gradual and progressive approach that relaxes restrictions more slowly and leaves time to monitor, react and adjust trends to keep transmission rates down”

At Queen’s Park, Health Secretary Christine Elliott said ahead of De Villa’s comments that “no decision has been made” as to whether the province of Toronto would bring Peel and York out of the emergency shutdown and into the provincial Gray lockdown zone

I have never been so concerned about the threat posed by # COVID19 in TO I would love to say we are ready to open again but today it is better to delay until the time is right let’s keep doing everything we can to help ours Protect the city so that we can return to brighter days earlier: https: // tco / hLb9AhwiIp

“There were some numbers that came in last night, there will be numbers that will come in on Thursday too, and then a recommendation from Dr Williams is based on his conversations with the local doctors “

Elliott said it was “still open to discussion” whether regions would join the framework in February 22, despite the city’s recommendations to effectively communicate the lockdown decision to local health officials

Prime Minister Doug Ford has repeatedly stressed that cities would get government support if local health officials issued a blocking order under Section 22 of the Health and Health Promotion Act

The chairman of the NDP, Andrea Horwath, argued that the prime minister’s approach to reopening was not only premature, but that he was risking a “very bad third wave”

“People are exhausted and they definitely need a break, but there is no solution for our province to jump back and forth and spread COVID-19 variants in Ontario,” she said when speaking with CTV on Wednesday News Toronto spoke by phone

“And so we open up again without adding things like measured shifts, like paid sick days, like safer schools, like more support in long-term care, like a plan to actually get a vaccination program in place. I mean, these people can understand that those things need to be there, but Ford doesn’t want to spend the money ”

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World News – CA – Toronto, Peel Region wants the current lockdown until at least Jan. March extend